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  1. #1

    greyhound rick's Avatar
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    Mar 15, 2010
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    2013 macbook pro retina 15", 2009 MBP non retina 13", 2014 21" iMac
    ?: MBP Retina bright enough for Photoshop?
    Hello,
    I currently use a 2009 MacBook Pro for Photoshop CS6 and would like to upgrade to a new MBPRetina. In looking at the Retina machines at a local Apple Store i noticed that the brightness seemed a bit less than my 2009 MBP and also the current iMacs. Even at the highest brightness setting it seemed a bit low.

    After doing a little bit of Google searching i see that the display is about 20% less bright on the MBPR vs. the non retina MBPs.

    A few questions:

    1. Do you feel that the display on the MBPR is bright enough for Photoshop use?

    2. Do you think the next release of the MBPR will have a brighter display?

    3. How does Photoshop CS6 run on the MBPR? Any issues with the program and the increased resolution of the MBPR display?

    thanks so much for your help with this. This is a big purchase for me so I'm very interested in your input! :-)

    take care,

    rick

  2. #2

    Exodist's Avatar
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    Photography it isn't necessarily brightness as it is more important to have accurate contrast, color and gamma. That said, a over bright screen can make the images on your computer seem normal but to dark on others. Also the retina displays I have seen seemed very crisp and bright to me. But I only seen a few in the apple store other then my IOS devices.

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  3. #3


    Member Since
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    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    Gamma can also be adjusted as needed.

  4. #4

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    May 20, 2008
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by greyhound rick View Post
    In looking at the Retina machines at a local Apple Store i noticed that the brightness seemed a bit less than my 2009 MBP...
    Did you actually take your 2009 MBP to the Apple Store...and compare side by side? If you did...and you did see a difference...no problems.

    Then my 2nd question would be..do you always use your 2009 MBP at or near it's maximum brightness when doing Photoshop work? If not...maybe a higher brightness setting on a newer rMBP would be fine.

    Also...I'm pretty darn sure there are lots & lots & lots of professional folks using Photoshop CS6 on rMBP's...so I'm thinking a rMBP should work for you as well. But of course you need to be as close to "100% happy" as possible when spending this kind of money.

    - Nick
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  5. #5

    rabbitjetta's Avatar
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    I have had a retina macbook pro sense the time it was released and i think that it's brighter then my 2010 macbook pro. It is my favorite machine by far.

  6. #6

    greyhound rick's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 15, 2010
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    Phoenix, Arizona
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    2013 macbook pro retina 15", 2009 MBP non retina 13", 2014 21" iMac
    Thanks to all for the responses. Very helpful!

    Yesterday we went to the Apple Store and had one of the staff put a 2012 Non retina MacBook Pro next to a new MBPR. I honestly could not tell the difference with both turned up to maximum brightness.

    Interesting note: After that we went over to the iMacs and looked at the 27" and the 21" models. We noticed that the displays were brighter than on the MBPR machines. Pretty noticeable.

    When i edit photos i normally have the brightness at about 3/4 in a moderately lit room. I try to actually edit about one notch down from what i would deem normal brightness so that my prints will come out ok. The reason that i like bright displays is because when i show people the images I've done for them i feel like they look better with a nice bright display, especially if in a well lighted room or if outside.

    A couple of additional questions for you:

    1. If i opt to go with an iMac instead of a MacBook Pro I'm thinking that a 21" would be best for me as i would be able to transport it much more easily ( i was amazed how light and easy to handle the 21" one was at the Apple Store). I know there are some advantages to the 27" vs. the 21" such as upgradeability, but was wondering if the screen architecture itself was the same as the 27" and if the IQ is as good on the 21" vs. the 27"?

    2. From what i could gather looking at my photo stream at the Apple Store, the color accuracy, vividness and IQ in general was better on the MacBook Pro Retina vs. the MBP, but seemed fairly comparable when comparing the MBPR vs. the iMac. What do you think?

    thanks very much again for your expertise,

    rick

  7. #7

    chscag's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2008
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    1. If i opt to go with an iMac instead of a MacBook Pro I'm thinking that a 21" would be best for me as i would be able to transport it much more easily ( i was amazed how light and easy to handle the 21" one was at the Apple Store). I know there are some advantages to the 27" vs. the 21" such as upgradeability, but was wondering if the screen architecture itself was the same as the 27" and if the IQ is as good on the 21" vs. the 27"?
    No doubt the newer 21.5" iMacs are light and easily transportable. I have a 2011 21.5" iMac that out weighs my 2013 27" iMac. The newer iMacs are very thin and light weight.

    If you decide on a 21.5" iMac, buy the best options you can afford - lots of memory, large hard drive or SSD fusion combo. There are no upgrades available once you purchase it. And - buy Apple Care! It's a must with these newer machines.

  8. #8

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greyhound rick View Post
    Interesting note: After that we went over to the iMacs and looked at the 27" and the 21" models. We noticed that the displays were brighter than on the MBPR machines. Pretty noticeable.
    No surprise to me. Most desktops (iMac's) are brighter.

    This thread started off comparing the brightness of two laptops. Comparing the brightness of a laptop vs. a desktop is a COMPLETELY different situation.

    What it really comes down to is...is the display brightness of an iMac more important than the portability of a laptop.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  9. #9

    greyhound rick's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 15, 2010
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    Phoenix, Arizona
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    Specs:
    2013 macbook pro retina 15", 2009 MBP non retina 13", 2014 21" iMac
    Great input as always from you folks. Thanks so much!

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